We recently went for a quick noodle soup lunch into the Asian Market Eating experience at Tuk-Cho, Ealing Broadway. We’ve been next door at the Thai Canteen before and weren’t impressed there (on account of bland food), so all advance credit to Tuk-Cho.
Oh dear. We shouldn’t have. We’d been a lot better off making our own.
The place was mostly empty when we arrived in the early lunch time hours, and filling to about 50% capacity during our stay. When we came, serving staff was already at 150% capacity though. Noodle soup bars and Asian market eating tends to be fast and furious (just try out wagamama if you don’t know what I mean). At Tuk-Cho, they took their time to take our orders and then again to deliver our meals. The single waitress (later joint by a colleague) was just not on top of things, there’s no two ways about it. Experienced waiting staff can easily handle the number of guests they had at the time, but at Tuk-Cho, they didn’t feel like rushing. A slow approach to fast food, fair enough.
When choosing from the menu, we liked the fact that Tuk-Cho tries to cover the whole of South-east Asia: a Malaysian Laksa, a Vietnamese Pho, a Thai Tim Yam Kung, a Cambodian K’tiao. Nice, we thought, and ordered one Laksa, one K’tiao. Both arrived after quite some waiting and were lame in terms of heat, and flavourless in terms of general aroma. A lame and bland Laksa, really? How hard can it be? Same goes to the K’tiao, which I will admit is a little harder to get right. I don’t think this one was even close. None of it was bad, but it was a far cry from being good enough – certainly not for a premium price of £8.40 (K’tiao) and £9.90 (Laksa), service not included.
These places come and these places go. We’ll be back when the name on the front changes again.
I made a Cambodian noodle soup myself just a few nights ago, as I begun getting worried that I might have leaned out of the window a little too far but – No, I shouldn’t have worried. All is well, and my mouth sung of flavours for a long time after the last drop was spooned out of my bowl. Not at Tuk-Cho though.